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Uh-Oh, DH says hsing isn't working :(

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I have to change some things, which I have been in the process of doing anyway.  But I came home a little late today from work and DH was really on edge.  He finally let it out that he was really annoyed with the kids playing video games too much, and he feels they aren't learning enough (they only sit and do school work for about 2-3 hours a day).

Here's the thing, I totally agree with him...but twice a week I leave at 11am and he sleeps until 3pm (he works nights, so he sleeps about 8:30am-3pm).  The other days I leave around 2:15 and he sleeps until 3.  The kids definitely take advantage of this and get a lot of screen time.  Then DH kind of takes it easy in the afternoons and the kids continue to play video games.  They are 10 and 11 so don't quite get the moderation thing, once they are in it they just lose track of time and could play all day.  (DH could also remind them to turn it off once he is this is not just on me or the kids).

So we set a new rule, one hour a day of video games.  They can have other TV time if it's educational.  We haven't had strict screen time rules.  They know how to use a timer on their ipods, so they will need to set the timer and follow it.  They are really good kids and will follow this rule even without a parent watching (this is why I have felt we didn't need to be too strict here, since they really do follow the rules and the video games or a movie helps keep them entertained so DH can sleep).

We also have been stuck in history and DH is annoyed by that, he thinks that's one of the more important subjects...I am LOST in history.  So I sat down with him and the SOTW table of contents and we picked out what he feels is important in ancient history.  So I will try to get through these few things over the next few weeks, and then have him go through medieval history with me.  He thinks we have only been learning about Egypt since September and was annoyed the kids didn't know who Cleopatra we are hitting Cleopatra tomorrow and then moving on to Ancient Greece.  Hopefully they remember something we learn so it doesn't seem like I am teaching them nothing :(  I am also thinking documentaries or something for when I am not home. 

Sorry this is so long, I don't want to send them back to PS.  I need them to take an interest in learning (this was another point from DH as well and I just had this conversation with them yesterday) and I need to find more to keep them learning even without a parent right there.  If anyone has any encouraging words or advice, please share :)

by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 8:51 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 10:02 PM
2 moms liked this


Anyone can nit pick what you are doing. I'm sorry your husband is doing this.

I personally think video games can be great for learning.

I think a relaxed approach often allows kids to learn more and quicker.

by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 10:03 PM
1 mom liked this

Trebuchets and catapults are fun!

Also, have you guys looked at the You Wouldn't Want to Be series?  Those are fun.  I remember when I was a kid just devouring Cleopatra and Julius Caesar....oh my.....  When I went to Italy for a high school study trip, we had to study what was important to our chaperones.  We had an art teacher and a teacher whose heritage was Italian.  So I was doing it all "wrong" because I didn't like art, I'd rather spend my time looking at aqueducts or the Colliseum or whatnot than go to the frickin' art museums (I'm bitter...can you tell?), and I wanted to eat pasta and pizza.  So what could have been an amazing trip, was tainted because my teachers were not happy with me and forced me to spend my "free" time doing what they deemed appropriate.  :(

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

I want them to do more of that entertain yourselves and it turn into a project!  Our problem lately is that when they do something like that, they get stuck.  We built catapults a few weeks ago and in our research we came across a book and that is all DS talks about now.  He wants the book and just keeps asking for it.  And he just keeps working on building mini "weapons" and DD copies whatever he does, so if he works on that she does too.  It's not a bad thing sometimes, but he won't come up with any other ideas at all, he is just stuck on the mini weapons.  I wish they would work on something different, but this happens any time we get into something they are interested in, they just get stuck.

Quoting Precious333:

We do story of the world as well. I agree, finding additional things to read on it. Sotw also has activity books and tests.

Also, i dont let my kids play any games or watch tv until threy are done with their work, but like you, we only do 2 or so hours of school daily. So, somedays I will tell them to entertain themselves, which is what i told them today, and my son decided to make a rocketship out of cardboard boxes :)

by Jinx on Nov. 19, 2013 at 10:57 PM
1 mom liked this
Oh, and each box has 8-10 projects in it...they are great!
by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 11:01 PM

 Have you thought about using there gaming to your advantage? Do they play Mine-craft it is very educational, we don't play it but I know of lots of homeschoolers that do! There are games called Ages of Empire that actually teach history like Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc & other great rulers & historical figures, the best part is they tell the real history in the game! Ages of empire can be gotten for a lot of differentconsoles & the computer! There is even a game on the PlayStation 2 based off of the Civil War made by the History channel!

by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 11:08 PM
1 mom liked this

We LOVE History Pockets!  We've worked on part of Ancient Civilizations, and are almost halfway through Life in Plymouth Colony.  My 6th grader likes those too, and we've all learned quite a bit.  I'm using Ancient Civilizations to give us a fun activity to go along with her 6th grade World History (Harcourt Horizons).  I'd think the Civilizations would go with SOTW too, just from the sound of it (different countries, etc.).  It says grades 1-3, but since it's an added aspect of history I don't worry about it.  

There are eight "pockets."  The Civilizations had a different country in each pocket, and Plymouth is a different part of life (travel to the New World, Creating a Village, Family Life, etc.) just to give an idea.

I have the Ancient Rome for grades 4-6 to go along with our Latin Class.  That one looks super cool too.  

They've had a blast making their pockets, and can work on the majority of each one without my help. 

by on Nov. 19, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Before I forget - sorry your dh is talking about ps.  I hope he changes his mind soon so you can enjoy your teaching.  That's a lot of effort on your part, especially working too.

by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM

I wish I could help and give advice. I'm a SAHM, and my mom covers lessons for me when I have errands to do. The only thing I have discovered about Homeschooling is that you can do that when you're home of an evening, and when you're off work for your scheduled days off. As far as history goes, I agree with your DH that it is an important subject, but to have a cow because you hadn't covered Cleopatra yet is a bit much. When he's not working or sleeping or on his days off, does he help out and pitch in with the learning? I don't actually study ancient civilizations with my boys (ages 6 and 8) in school. That's something we do for fun outside of school times. We go a maximum of 4 hours a day, minimum of 2, and they do watch some documentaries or cartoons that were based off of events. then we discuss the differences between the animated versions and the text versions. I'm an ancient history and mythology geek, so that is our fun time. We draw pictures and look up artifacts on the internet together. Even at 10 and 11 your kids still need a little engagement with their learning. Try doing something like that, instead of expecting them to sit and do writing and reading all of the time. A lot of what my kids already know they learned mostly by being verbal not a lot of writing. They might actually enjoy it more as far as the history goes. good luck and hope you figure it all out. 

by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 3:32 AM


by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:14 AM
I would love Autumn's input on ancient history related books. I am sure Kara would appreciate it!

I have heard that about SOTW, so I want to cover these few things and then jump up to Volume 2 and see if that is more interesting for them. They still read Magic Tree House for fun (they finish a book in a day) and they have some great history in them, so I thought SOTW would be ok, but the first one is very young.

Quoting AutymsMommy:

Want me to ask Autumn for some of her favorite ancient history related books? Also, you may consider moving to one of the later sotw books... They are written in increased difficulty and one if the later volumes may hold their interest a bit better. I know Autumn found it terribly boring when we tried it in grade 5.

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

A lot of the literature suggestions are too young for them, but I was also using Classical House of Learning to help with literature suggestions.  But the first book DS had no interest in (DD read the series though) and the second book, even I couldn't get through a few chapters...but they did, DS read the whole thing and DD read a lot of it even though she hated it.  It's hard for me to force them to read an entire book they completely hate.  I would much rather they enjoy it at least a little.  Maybe I will look at the list again though and find the topics DH thinks we need to hit and see what there is for those.

I am loving the idea of 'homework' while I'm gone.  I have really just been giving them their couple of hours and if they don't finish in the morning, they work while I'm gone.  But I like the idea of using that more as a review time and reading time.  But they definitely need me to assign stuff, they don't have enough of an interest to learn on their own yet.  I need to spend more time planning so they have something to do in the afternoons.  Thank you for the ideas :)

Quoting AutymsMommy:

Are you doing the literature suggestions with SOTW? They could work from their respective levels in their corresponding literature while you're gone.

In other words, give homework while you're gone.

"Today in history we read about cleopatra, while Mom is at work, you need to: read chapters 1 and 2 from your corresponding literature assignment and write a one paragraph summary about what you read. In science today we covered famous chemists, while I'm gone, you need to: look up one of the chemists we discussed and put together a brochure about his life. In math today we worked with dividing decimals, here is a sheet to work on - nothing is new, just to review what we learned today. Today in english we learned about adverbs; I want you to underline all adverbs in your history summary. If there's something you get stuck on and need help with, put it to the side and I'll help you when I get home. When you are finished, you may have one hour of free screen time!"

by on Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:15 AM
Our budget is pretty much non existent. They can do a lot of their science alone or as a team. Maybe I will ask my parents to look into those boxes for Christmas.

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

I dont know what your budget is like, but Science in a Nutshell boxes would be a good suggestion. They are about $40 a box but contain enough materials for three kids. They are designed for grades 2-6 and your two should be able to do one cooperatively with little or no supervision.

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